Morgantown, West Virginia – To be clear, the transfer portal is a problem for every college athletic program right now. Players have far too much freedom to leave when things aren’t going well. With that said, it’s a major problem at West Virginia University.
Yesterday, sophomore offensive lineman Parker Moorer and redshirt senior disappointment VanDarius Cowan both left the West Virginia program.
West Virginia has now lost 19 players to the transfer portal during this calendar year, which is the leader in the nation. This is a particularly high number considering that it’s not during a coaching change.
Despite this, West Virginia has recruited at a relatively high level over the last two seasons. Brown’s ability to sell his program to high level recruits is both fascinating and impressive. Unfortunately, the product he is selling can’t match the product on the field. West Virginia’s brand of football is neither exciting nor fun.
Brown apologizers insist that none of the players that have left have been very good, but it’s important in football to build depth, which West Virginia is unable to do because of the large volume of players leaving.
In addition, there appears to be major issues with the culture of the West Virginia football program. This amount of players simply don’t transfer without reason. Again, yes, players transfer without good reason occasionally, but they are transferring at an alarmingly-high rate at West Virginia.
College coaches are cunning and find ways to get what they want. An opposing coach could make a very reasonable argument about Brown not trusting young players, about the team’s lack of excitement on offense, the team’s average record, and could highlight the numerous former players who have transferred.
Brown and his staff have proven to be effective recruiters, but what does good recruiting mean if they can’t keep the players on campus?
There are infinite options for student athletes to choose from and it’s difficult to see why a top prospect would choose West Virginia University right now. Brown must find a way to make West Virginia football not only a winner, he has to make it fun and exciting again, and keep his recruits in Morgantown.